Startnow.com (startnow) is a website associated with various browser hijackers that change existing internet browser settings. The cooperating browser hijacker will replace the affected browser’s homepage with Startnow.com by pointing the browser’s shortcut to batch files stored in the %AppData% folder. The Startnow.com virus may also use of multiple potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and browser extensions to read, modify, and replace existing internet browser settings and data. The infection can spread across Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge & Internet Explorer, and other internet browsers installed on the infected computer simultaneously.
Potentially unwanted programs native to the search engine are usually bolstered by deceptive and malicious advertising platforms and rogue download managers. In addition the platforms and download managers will advertise and bundle the initial threat with other rogue programs, malware, and malicious files.
In order to remove Startnow.com virus from your browser you need to understand what caused the infection in the first place. Potentially unwanted programs and potentially malicious browser add-ons and extensions to hijack current browser settings. The programs and attachments native to the Startnow.com website will replace the homepage, search engine, and new tab page with the website. Removing the cooperating program will by theory remove the infection; However, the settings that were exchanged might stay that way unless they are manually changed in settings.
How did Startnow.com virus get on my computer?
Potentially unwanted programs used to change your browser settings to Startnow.com usually arrive on your computer along with free downloadable content, such as freeware and torrent files. Downloading items like this online can result in potentially unwanted programs, adware, and malware infecting the your computer system. Even if a program you manually download and install is well known and trustworthy like Google Chrome, if you download it from a malicious website or by using an untrustworthy download manager it can lead to a computer infection.
Some advertisements and download managers may claim that this program or another program you seek to download is something it is not. The program may also be offered as a custom install which allows users to manually chose to accept or decline the download.
In most cases the program used to cause your browser to redirect to Startnow.com will download and install in the background without your consent or knowledge. It is usually installed by a potentially malicious program that already exists on your machine.
How to remove Startnow.com
1. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to scan for malware and automatically remove malicious files from your computer.
2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.
3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.
4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.
5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan, remove remaining trace files, and automatically repair certain settings.
6. Open HitmanPro and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.
7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.
8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
9. Click the Reboot button.
10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to automatically cleanup junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.
11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.
13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.
14. Make sure that your browser settings have been repaired by opening your affected web browser. If the browser was not repaired use the tutorials below to fix your affected browser settings.
- How to change your Google Chrome homepage
- How to change your Google Chrome search engine
- How to remove extensions from Chrome
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox homepage
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Firefox
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer homepage
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Internet Explorer
The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow common online guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.
Real-time security software
Security software like Malwarebytes and Norton Security have real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals.
- Backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
- Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
- If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
- Avoid torrents and P2P clients
- Do not open email messages from senders you do not know